Platform and drivetrain sharing for Mercedes, Nissan, Smart, Infiniti and Renault
7 April 2010

Daimler and Renault have confirmed they will co-operate on platform and drivetrain sharing.

The tie-in will involve Mercedes, Nissan, Smart, Renault and Infiniti working together on new models. Both partners are at pains to stress that the tie-in will not effect their brand identities, saying they will use the partnership to drive down costs on shared parts, but continue to engineer in specific parts to ensure differing characteristics of their products.

Hilton Holloway blog - When Daimler met Renault-Nissan

Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of Daimler, said: "Our skills complement each other very well. Right away, we are strengthening our competitiveness in the small and compact car segment and are reducing our CO2 footprint - both on a long-term basis.

"We know that we can make brand-typical products based on shared architectures. The individual brand identities will remain unaffected."

Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn added: "This agreement will create lasting value for the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler as we work on broadening and strengthening our product offering, efficiently utilising all available resources and developing the innovative technologies required in the coming decade."

Renault-Nissan and Daimler estimate the deal will save them each two billion euros over the next five years.

A similar deal between Daimler and BMW broke down last year due to differences in engineering philosophy on small cars and engines. BMW will now seek closer working ties with PSA.

At the heart of the Daimler/Renault co-operation is Project Edison - an initiative to create a platform to underpin the next Smart Fortwo, Forfour and the Renault Twingo. These models will use a rear-engine/rear-wheel drive layout, while the Smarts will also feature today’s Tridion safety cell, which is considered a unique selling point for the Smart brand.

The new Smart Fortwo, the Smart four-seater and the new Renault Twingo are scheduled to be launched from 2013 onwards. The Smart plant in Hambach, France will produce the two-seaters, while the Renault plant in Novo Mesto, Slovenia will build the four-seaters. From launch, these cars will be available with electric drive variants.

The second major component of the deal will be drivetrain sharing. Project Edison will include an electric powertrain based on the Smart ED, and there will be a range of new three and four-cylinder petrol and diesels to be uses in Mercedes, Smarts, Renaults and Nissans.

Ranging from 1.2 to 1.8 litres, the engines will be engineered by Daimler and built by Renault. They will be used in cars such as the next A and B-class, as well as forthcoming Clios and Meganes.

Daimler will also pass its current petrol and diesel engine technology to Infiniti. This would result in Daimler supplying Renault with V6 and V8 petrol and diesel engines as well as a new automatic transmission to replace today’s seven-speed 7G-Tronic unit for use in future Infiniti models.

Although not part of the initial co-operation, Daimler sources reveal Renault’s Ghosn is also investigating using Mercedes-Benz’s new front- and four-wheel drive MFA (modular front antrieb) platform set to underpin the new A- and B-class for a proposed entry-level Infiniti model.

The companies will also collaborate on light van projects. As part of this deal, Renault-Nissan will make its diesel engine and transmission technology available for use in the Mercedes Vito.

As part of the deal, Daimler will take a cross-shareholding of 3.1 per cent in Nissan and Renault. Renault-Nissan will take the same stake in Daimler.

Greg Kable

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Join the debate


31 March 2010

OK. How long before we have 4 major manufacturers in the world?

31 March 2010

Fiat is going to get squeezed out. The Franco-German European axis cometh. Marchionne's talk of 6 million units being a threshold for survival rebounds on him.

31 March 2010

I predict BMW and Honda will merge before too long. Just a theory.

31 March 2010

Guess the merge will mean fewer directors to share the spoils, so their individual pay will go up, but the cost remain the same, oh the joy of globalization.

31 March 2010

If BMW and PSA are getting closer could we see BMW's new front drive platform used in the next C4 and whatever the next 308 is called? Rumours keep going round that the next Mini platform might be used by PSA.

31 March 2010

I would have thought that Daimler-Benz should have learned their lesson from their merger with Chrysler that sometimes becoming global just aint gonna work! I can only hope that Renault and Nissan’s current design themes don’t begin to influence Mercedes. R-Class, Laguna Mk III and Mirca Mk IV themes would make a truly hideous design!

31 March 2010

Nicksheele and Widescreen, best of friends. Who'd have thunk it.

31 March 2010

Smarts built by Renault. A new reason to not buy the new Smart ForFour.

Anyone seen JD Power recently. Mercedes top 3, Renault Bottom 3. Lets hope the end result is better Renaults and not a return to crappy Mercs with electrical gremlins.

31 March 2010

[quote weenedonpetrol]I would have thought that Daimler-Benz should have learned their lesson from their merger with Chrysler that sometimes becoming global just aint gonna work! I can only hope that Renault and Nissan’s current design themes don’t begin to influence Mercedes. R-Class, Laguna Mk III and Mirca Mk IV themes would make a truly hideous design![/quote]

Pretty much my first thought too. If they manage to pick all the best bits from each brand it should be very formidable though.

6 April 2010

Co-operating with Daimler-Benz didn't do Chrysler much good. I hope Renault/Nissan will survive this.

Working with Daimler-Benz will teach Renault/Nissan how to make big luxury cars , but Nissan already know this , and Renault don't need to know. Working with Renault/Nissan will teach Daimler-Benz how to make small cars, but making small cars has already eroded the Daimler-Benz reputation for quality and luxury.


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